The Office of Patient Protection (OPP) is charged with developing regulations and implementing certain provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 176O governing insurance carriers' internal grievance procedures, detailing certain guarantees of continuity of care and specialty care referral and coverage, and establishing a process for obtaining an independent external review where coverage is denied based upon a medical necessity determination. OPP is also charged with administering and granting insurance enrollment waivers to eligible individuals who seek to purchase non-group insurance when enrollment is closed. Additionally, the Office of Patient Protection assists consumers with questions or concerns relating to health insurance, including grievance and appeal rights and enrollment waiver questions. The Office of Patient Protection is led by Steven Belec.

About the Director: OPP

Steven Belec is the Director of the Office of Patient Protection. Steven has worked for over a decade on health care access and coverage issues. He comes to the HPC from the Division of Insurance where he managed the unit responsible for investigating policyholder complaints and market conduct concerns. Prior to that role, he served for over 5 years at the Boston Public Health Commission as Director of the Mayor’s Health Line for the City. In that role, he led the implementation of one of the first certified Navigator programs authorized under Massachusetts health reform legislation, Chapter 58. Steven got his start in health care at Fenway Community Health Center, managing a patient navigator and HIV/STI prevention program. He earned his B.A. in communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Master of Public Administration from Suffolk University and is currently studying towards a MBA at the Isenberg School of Management. His primary interests are public and population health with a focus in health care affordability, quality, and access issues.